Ford Mustang Mach 1 – Sportscar365

Photo: David Haueter

Ford has largely abandoned cars in North America as they focus their product efforts on SUVs, crossovers, and trucks.

The only high flyer is the Mustang, which is so ingrained in Ford history over the past half-century that they couldn’t bring themselves to cancel it, despite having the more politically correct Mustang Mach-E around.

Not only has Ford kept the Mustang, but it’s offering it in several variations, including some that still have a good ol’ naturally aspirated 5-liter V8 under the hood.

At the bottom of the Mustang hierarchy is the EcoBoost model, which is powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces a solid 310 hp, or you can get the EcoBoost with the High-Performance package, which boosts output to 330 hp .

Climb the ladder from there and you’ll find yourself in the V8 models including the Mustang GT (450 hp), the Mach 1 (470 hp) and the Shelby GT500 (760 hp).

The EcoBoost and GT models are available as coupes or convertibles, but the Mach 1 and GT500 are only available as coupes. While it might be tempting to go straight for the GT500, the Mach 1 might just be the cutest ride of the bunch.

Photo: David Haueter

The Mach 1 naturally takes its name from the Mach 1 models of yesteryear, with the first model appearing towards the end of the 1960s. Simply put, the Mach 1 means a model that’s a step up from the standard Mustang models.

In the 2022 model range, it sits between the GT and GT500 models and features some significant improvements over the GT.

The Mach 1 uses the GT500’s rear subframe, which is a sturdier structure with stiffer bushings. It also has stiffer front and rear anti-roll bars, a Torsen limited-slip differential and additional bracing, and Brembo brakes.

Cooling is improved with a larger radiator and a cooler for the diff. Ford’s active MagneRide dampers are also standard equipment. Under the hood is the 5-liter V8 pumping out 470 hp and 410 lb.-ft. Torque increasing in GT model from 450 hp but with the same torque figures.

Power has even been downgraded from 480hp in the 2021 model to meet tighter emissions regulations. The Mach 1 is available with either a 6-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Photo: Ford

Our test car was the Mach 1 Premium, which adds heated and ventilated leather front seats with memory settings, a heated steering wheel, and aluminum pedals. If you want the ultimate performance version of the Mach 1, the optional handling package offers adjustable strut mounts, improved aerodynamics with a Gurney flap and front splitter, larger and wider wheels and tires, and revised suspension tuning.

It also wears Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (like the GT500) instead of the Pilot Sport 4S tires on the standard Mach 1, which are still pretty good tires.

Even without the handling package and its aero parts, the Mach 1 looks amazing in Fighter Jet Gray livery with the Mach 1 logos and decals.

All Mustang models are good looking cars, but the Mach 1 is more of a head turner than the standard GT, although it’s not as aggressive as the GT500. The Mach 1 drives as it looks. In short, it feels like a Mustang when you’re behind the wheel. You’re looking over the long hood with the V8 roaring beneath it, and the sounds and feel are uniquely Mustang.

Photo: David Haueter

This car is quick, too, with 0-60 mph in the low four-second range, and my test car’s 10-speed automatic was smooth with quick shifts. There are also shift paddles on the steering wheel for manual shifting.

Driving on the freeway is comfortable and the Mach 1 is more adept at handling back roads than you would initially expect given its size and weight.

Ford has done a good job with tuning the MagneRide suspension, and the handling is predictable and balanced when you push it harder, although it’s not on the same level as a car like the BMW M4. The seats were also a bit soft for performance riding.

With a starting price of under $60,000, the Mustang Mach 1 is a relative steal compared to other cars of similar power and performance.

While the Mach 1 Premium is fun with an automatic and easier to live with as an everyday driver, if you want ultimate performance, the choice of manual transmission and handling package is the ticket.

With the handling package and the manual, the price is around 62,000 US dollars.

Get one while you can, if you want one because with the direction things are going there might not be too many years when Ford will be offering this car with a V8.

Photo: David Haueter

David Hauter (@InfoTrends_DH) has been a car author and photographer for 20 years. His writing and photos have appeared in Roundel, Bimmer, Forza and Excellence, and, among other automotive and racing magazines.

#Ford #Mustang #Mach #Sportscar365

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